A Tudor Home’s Backyard Transforms Into an Outdoor Oasis

Wait until you see this Tudor home’s backyard. Photos by Mike Van Tassell

Thanks to a Bedford-based architecture and design firm, an unused yard gets a new life and use with the addition of a beautiful pool, spa, and cabana.

Where there is now a beautiful pool and spa, attached cabana, outdoor bar, and dining terrace was a side yard that was unused by this family of six. The small, corner lot of this Tudor home was transformed thanks to the team headed up by Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors into a true outdoor oasis.

Challenges

Like any pool project, it came with challenges. For this one, there were four large hurdles the team had to face and resolve.

pool yard

The Tudor design of the home dates to the 20th century, and the original bricks on the existing house were handmade and no longer available. The team had to research the origin of the brick and stone and gather multiple samples to create a seamless connection between the existing home and the new pool pavilion. “To create a unified and visual aesthetic between the existing and the new, keen attention was paid to the unique architectural elements of the original home,” says Carol Kurth, FAIA, ASID. This included pattern, scale, and texture as well as mortar color and joint details. “Mock-ups were presented for detailed review and approvals, ultimately achieving a seamless design thread while infusing a modern approach to the transitional style,” she adds.

Being that this was a side yard, the team wanted to create an enclosure for privacy and safety reasons, but not feel enclosed. “The lot line and streetscape are planted with lush evergreens, which will eventually conceal the fencing as the plantings mature,” says Kurth. “The rest of the fencing is tied into corners of the home, tucked amidst plantings.”

outdoor bar

The area they were working with was also on the smaller side, but with design ingenuity and thoughtfulness, the team was able to incorporate multiple areas that serve different purposes. “The creative challenge on a small site is to be able to create an experience of outdoor rooms and vignettes that can serve multiple purposes, from relaxation to entertaining on a large scale,” says Kurth. “I love how we mixed historic details with modern sensibility to bring a new dynamic personality to the project and the reimagining of the yard areas to create a more functional outdoor lifestyle for [this] family.”

Finally, this home is situated in a beautiful enclave of Tudor homes on a corner lot; therefore, the approval process was challenging. “It was a difficult approval process to get a pool situated on the side of the prior lawn area, in this neighborhood, on this property,” says Kurth. But they did it and made the overall yard more functional.

Here’s How to Spend the Perfect Saturday in Hastings-on-Hudson

Hastings-on-Hudson | Adobe Stock | Brian

An influx of urbanites has bolstered its offerings, including a bustling farmers’ market, restaurants, galleries, and shops.

By Samantha Garbarini and Anthony Tornatore

In 2013, The New York Times dubbed Hastings-on-Hudson “Hipsturbia,” a suburb in transformation because of priced-out Brooklynites who were relocating to the Rivertown. As of 2023, we’d be hesitant to call Hastings the most hipster village in Westchester, but the influx of urbanites has bolstered its offerings, including a bustling farmers’ market, restaurants, galleries, and shops. Because of that, it’s an ideal location for a day trip in Westchester. Here’s how to plan your outing:

10 a.m. – Start your Saturday in Hastings at Antoinette’s Patisserie

Like any former Brooklynite, Hastings residents love a strong cup of locally roasted coffee. On a Saturday morning, you’ll likely find them at Antoinette’s Patisserie (417 Warburton Ave.; 914.478.7200), a cute but chic café that pairs Hastings-based GiacoBean coffees with flaky croissants.

 

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11 a.m. – Head to the Hastings Farmers’ Market

The Hastings Farmers’ Market (131 Southside Ave.) assembles a destination-worthy assortment of vendors. Stock up on Hudson River Apiaries honey, artful chocolates, Hudson Valley-produced cheeses, buttery La Petite Occasion small-batch caramels, Larchmont Charcuterie (summer only), break, and even vodka made from potatoes.

12 p.m. – Go to Saint George Bistro for brunch

Get to Saint George (155 Southside Ave.; 914.478.1671) on the later side for brunch. The menu is dedicated to French classics, including a thick-cut croque monsieur with jambon and bubbly Gruyere; simple, well-executed omelets; and a made-fresh-to-order Bloody Mary.

 

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1 p.m. – Stretch your legs at one of Hastings’ Many Parks

Hike trails past stone walls, stately trees, and ponds at Hillside Woods (Edgewood Ave). Stroll a section of the Old Croton Aqueduct, stopping to admire the 100-foot stone arch at Rowley’s Bridge. Or lounge on the grass — that counts as stretching, right? — at MacEachron Waterfront Park (100 River St) for the town’s best views of the Hudson River.

 

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3 p.m. – Shop ’til you drop on Main Street

Continue down Warburton until you reach Main Street, where you’ll find Suburban Renewal (1 Main St.; 914.478.9421), a two-level antique shop with plenty of hidden gems, like vintage teapots and Midcentury Modern furniture. Across the street is Chelsea Dry Goods (2 Main St.; 914.478.3553), a general store that stocks a little bit of everything, from stylish home goods and printed tees to kids’ toys and sassy birthday cards. Pop into the airy exhibit space at artists-run Upstream Gallery (8 Main St.; 914.674.8548). Established in 1991, the gallery’s rotating shows are curated and/or created by its cooperative of painters, sculptors, photographers, and printmakers.

 

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5 p.m. – Savor happy hour and dinner in Hastings-on-Hudson

Happy hour runs until 6 p.m. at Boro6 Wine Bar (549 Warburton Ave.; 914.231.9200), with select bottles of wine and cocktails deeply discounted, meaning you’ll have cash leftover for cheese and charcuterie. Or splurge on the lobster, shrimp, clams, and oysters at Bread & Brine (19 Main St.; 914.479.5243). Come hungry because you are bound to leave full.

 

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7 p.m. – Grab a treat at Penny Lick Ice Cream Company

Pick up a sweet treat on Warburton Avenue. At Penny Lick Ice Cream Company (580 Warburton Ave.; 914.525.1580), all of owner Ellen Sledge’s small-batch scoops are made with Hudson Valley dairy, including the Aloha coffee. However, if you are in the mood for something simple with a twist, may we recommend the maple salted caramel (maple ice cream with bits of salted caramel)?

9 p.m. – Rest at the Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson

Located a few miles north of Hastings-on-Hudson, this four-star hotel embodies elegance reminiscent of America’s Gilded Age. Overlooking the Hudson River, the Tarrytown House Estate (49 E Sunnyside Ln; 914.591.8200) is a haven for recreation and relaxation. Hit the racquetball court, ride the gym’s Peloton bikes, or take a dip in the pool. When you are done with that, enjoy a fantastic meal at Goosefeather, one of 2020’s top 20 restaurants in the U.S., as rated by Esquire.

 

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Related: This Hudson Valley Pass Is Your Key to Summer Fun in Westchester

This Chappaqua Home Stuns With Soaring Ceilings

How stunning is this Chappaqua home? Photos courtesy of Compass Real Estate

The new-construction property in Chappaqua offers up turnkey style made for families and outdoors lovers alike.

$2,600,000

4 BD | 5 BA | 5,868 sq ft | 2.26 acres | Taxes N/A*

Upon entering, you are greeted by an open floor plan featuring soaring 10-foot ceilings, including a family room, covered patio, and kitchen with eat-in breakfast area. Every detail is impeccably and uniquely designed, from the accent walls to the fixtures chosen for the baths and color in the kitchen. The home boasts four bedrooms, including a private primary wing with a large dressing room and a spa-like en-suite bath featuring dual vanities, a walk-in marble shower, and a separate soaking tub. There is a fully finished basement and two-car garage — all of which are close to schools, highways, the train, and only 50 minutes from NYC.

Listed by Brian Milton and Giorgina Martino, Compass

*At press time, taxes were being reassessed.

Related: A Contemporary Pound Ridge Home Gets a Star-Studded Upgrade

The Pleasantville Farmers Market Showcases Local Wine & Spirits

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Adobe Stock / allenkayaa

Ranking among the premier farmers’ markets in the region, the Pleasantville Farmers Market is known for its breadth and quality of vendors, including those offering alcohol.

On a rotating basis, an array of wine, spirits, and cider offerings from Hudson Valley merchants can be found scattered among the produce purveyors and food vendors at the year-round Saturday Pleasantville Farmers’ Market.

Manor Sangria (2nd & 4th Saturdays)

Using undisclosed recipes, Bo DiBuono produces unique blends of small-batch fruity sangria with New York State Pinot Noir as a base — available in Mason jars of 375ml or 750ml.

Manor Sangria
Courtesy of Manor Sangria

Cooper’s Daughter Spirits (1st & 4th Saturdays)

Under the direction of Sophie Newsome, this Hudson distillery, in what was once the Van Rensselaer carriage house, offers seasonal, small-batch spirits ranging from cacao maple vodka to mulled peach whiskey to smoked maple bourbon, all made using New York State ingredients.

Fjord Vineyards (1st & 3rd Saturdays, except winter)

Since 2013 Matthew Spaccarelli and Casey Erdmann craft a range of estate wines, with offerings currently running the gamut, from a dry Riesling to an Albarino and Chardonnay to a rich, flavorful Cabernet Franc.

Spirits Lab (3rd Saturday, except winter)

Located across from Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters in Newburgh, this new distillery produces an array of spirits using New York State grains and botanicals and offers small-batch blends from international artisan producers.

Warwick Valley Winery & Black Dirt Distillery (2nd Saturday)

From the Grizzanti Family and Jeremy Kidde comes an ever-expanding range of wares, like a rich Chardonnay, premium cordials, a citrus-scented gin, and an assortment of ciders.

Merchant’s Daughter Ciderworks (3rd Saturday)

From the site of a Victorian building that housed a general store, Christine Sisler, Dan O’Brien, and their crew fashion locally sourced hard ciders and offer them in dry, semidry, and “reserve” versions.

Merchant’s Daughter Ciderworks
Courtesy of Merchant’s Daughter Ciderworks

Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery (3rd Saturday)

Working closely with Cornell University, owners Michael Migliore, Yancey Stanforth-Migliore, and Brad Martz produce and offer an eclectic range of over a dozen red and white wines, including the very popular Awosting White, named after the nearby falls.

Related: These Hard Ciders Are Crafted Right in Westchester County

Could Passive Houses Be the Future of Home Design in Westchester?

Photos by Korin Krossber

With more focus on sustainability here in New York, passive homes may be the wave of the future in Westchester.

What is a passive house? Also known as a high-performance home, it is a residence that is either newly built or remodeled and meets these five criteria: no thermal bridging, superior windows, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, quality insulation, and airtight construction.

In layman’s terms, it essentially means that it is an energy-efficient home that is healthier for the environment and the homeowners who reside there.

The innovative concepts behind the passive-house movement started in the Unites States and Canada in the ’70s, during the oil embargo. But in the ’90s, as the U.S. started to move away from energy conservation, Germany picked up the reins. German physicist Wolfgang Feist refined passive-house design and founded Passivhaus Institute (PHI). This was around the same time local architect Andreas Benzing was going to school for architecture in Germany and started working for the well-known architect Hans Kollhoff, who became his mentor.

westchester home

But when people hear the terms passive homes and high-performance homes, they may not equate them with beauty and functionality. But as evidenced by his designs, Benzing proves you can have both beauty and sustainability.

“A [passive house] is the experience of the finished product, the beauty, and the sense of well-being, in addition to the extreme energy efficiency, which really creates love for this innovation and architectural design,” says Benzing. “We believe that soon, designs based on the science of passive house will be the standard for all new construction.”

Benzing’s firm, A.M. Benzing Architects, has been designing passive houses since 2008 and designed the first certified passive house retrofit in Westchester. It was a redesign of a split-level home in Mamaroneck that was turned into a high-performance passive house and received the Urban Green EBie award for the most energy-efficient retrofit. Since then, he has become synonymous with passive design in our area.

kitchen sustainability
As reflected in this project from A.M. Benzing Architects, houses can be high-performing and stylish.

“In order to achieve ultimate performance for the house, we have to rethink the wall-to-window ratios, orientation, and placement of windows,” says Benzing. “The passive house is a revolutionary, world-altering invention — one that is also open source and available for use by all architects who are trained to implement it.”

He goes on to say that any materials can be used in passive houses, but his firm concentrates on using materials that are not harmful to humans or the environment. Benzing says they use a specific blown-in cellulose insulation, which is fire-resistant, has very low embodied carbon, and is nontoxic. He also integrates solar energy and storage systems in his designs and uses natural, less-processed materials.

“We believe that soon, designs based on the science of passive house will be the standard for all new construction.”
—Andreas Benzing

“The key is a good understanding of materials and providing careful detailing on how to construct a house,” says Benzing.

Houses are not the only buildings that can be high performance. Any building, of any size, whether it’s new construction or a remodel, can be transformed into a high-performance building.

New York is moving toward more regulations related to sustainability and energy efficiency for buildings. In 2019, NYC enacted local law 97 to drive deep emissions cuts in buildings. In 2022, the NY State Assembly passed Bill 8431, an “all-electric building act that prohibits infrastructure, building systems, or equipment used for the combustion of fossil fuels in new construction after December 31, 2023, if the building is less than seven stories and July 1, 2027, if the building is taller.”

“As the climate becomes more unpredictable and costs for heating and cooling rise, this discipline will become more and more useful and necessary,” says Benzing. “We create the most comfortable and healthy homes for our clients.” A win-win for the homeowners and the environment.

Related: 5 Inspiring Kitchen and Bathroom Designs in Westchester Homes

The Beach Accessories to Shop for Sunny Days in Westchester

Photo by Raisa Zwart Photography / Courtesy of Mer-Sea. Photos courtesy of their respective companies unless otherwise noted

“Seas” the day by heading to the beach with all our favorite summer essentials, available at boutiques and shops throughout the 914.

By Cristiana Caruso and Gina Valentino

Ready for your next trip to the beach? Whether you’re making a local jaunt over to the county’s sandy shores or looking further afield, make sure you’re fashionably prepped for your summertime outing. These are our hottest finds and biggest must-haves to keep you stylish and sun-tanned from brunch to beach in Westchester County. (Because you know you’ll be taking a photo or two while you’re lounging under the sun!)

Beachy Accessories

beach finds
Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

Dr. Dennis Gross All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $42; Farida Skin Care Studio, White Plains; faridastudio.com

GrandeLIPS Hydrate Lip Plumper Gloss, $27; Ulta, Port Chester; grandecosmetics.com

“Nina” Necklace and Watch Chain, $130; Cosenza, White Plains; cosenzanyc.com

Sarong in “Petran,” $85; Sunzi, White Plains; sunzisilks.com

San Juan Flip Flops in Gold Metallic, $40; Very Lovely Soles, Bedford; verylovelysoles.com

Hollywood Rocks Insulated Tumbler, $25; My Bevi; mybevi.com

beach sunglasses Courtesy of brand[/caption]

Fringe Floppy Hat, $190
Into the Woods, Irvington-based, online

Beach hat
By Clarence Morey III/ Courtesy of Into the Woods

Bobbi Brown Beach Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz, $82
Bloomingdale’s, White Plains

Beach perfume
Courtesy of brand

Coola Classic Liplux® Organic Hydrating Lip Oil Sunscreen SPF 30, $18
Sephora, The Westchester, White Plains

lip oil
Courtesy of brand

ColoreScience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50, $42
Euro Laser Spa Services, Rye

face sunscreen
Courtesy of brand

Related: These Are the Safest, Least Harmful Sunscreens for Your Skin This Summer

Where to Enjoy Outdoor Dining in Westchester

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Bartaco does outdoor dining right in Port Chester. Photo by Manny Vargas

Reserve a table under the sky and indulge in a hearty helping of fresh air, with a side of sunshine or starlight.

By Cristiana Caruso and Michelle Gillan Larkin

It’s that wonderful time of year when the sun takes on that warm, long-awaited golden hue and foodies everywhere morph into the outdoors type in search of their next, best, sky-topped meal. Whether it’s at a restaurant with a hopping patio, deck, or tougher-to-score porch or blossoming garden (reserve early if there’s a water view), all thoughts turn to unsheltered dining on sunny days and cool, breezy nights. Our restaurant scene offers open-air options as vast and dazzling as the heavens (well, almost), and we combed the county, both north and south, from the Sound Shore to the Rivertowns, and everything in between, to bring you this curated guide to eating, drinking, and enjoying all that Westchester offers en plein air.

Sound Shore

Dubrovnik

New Rochelle

Chiseled fountains, sculptures, and stone benches almost bellow “garden!” yet the scene is oh-so serene and civilized with fine Croatian cuisine providing a borrowed portal to the loved and longed-for homeland of the proprietors’ youth. The soul-soothing aromas of simply prepared fresh, grilled whole fish and succulent roasts waft through the space, adding to the gently tugging sensation that you’ve been secretly transported to the European countryside.

Dubrovink
Outdoor dining at Dubrovnik. Courtesy of Dubrovnik

bartaco

Port Chester

The place to be and be seen at lunchtime (or, really, anytime), the nautical-themed deck at this upscale waterside taco heaven is perennially packed and endlessly overflowing with upbeat, positive vibes. Feast on fresh-made guac and chips, tacos, and rice bowls at a sun-soaked table along the calmly rippling Byram River or settle in atop a shaded, blue-and-white outdoor sofa where you won’t feel the least bit out of step sipping a zippy marg while munching a signature ice cream cone.

bartaco
Outdoor dining at bartaco in Port Chester. Photo by Manny Vargas

Barley Beach House

Rye

Just picture it: a tiki drink in your hand, toes in the sand, someone delivering snacks to your beach chair… in Rye. That is correct, folks; you get to have a beach-dining experience that doesn’t require a plane ticket or beach club membership. From frozen cocktails to lobster rolls, the good times keep coming as live music from 107.1 The Peak rolls in all summer long. So now, when the group chat blows up with the question: “I want to drink near water; where do we go?” — you’ve got your answer.

Lunello Restaurant

New Rochelle

Don’t let this hidden gem’s location fool you: While Lunello is a part of Imperial Yacht Club, it’s open to the public and nonmembers. Dine yacht-side on an expansive menu of Italian comfort food and myriad salads, exceptionally crisp and light after a day on the water. (Disclaimer: Westchester Magazine is not responsible for financial decisions made after a bottle of wine while perched next to dozens of yachts.)

Colony Grill

Port Chester

On the spacious elevated deck overlooking the Byram River, the only big decision here is bottles or pitchers and whether or not to top your classic bar pie (with that legendary cracker-thin crust) with the signature hot oil that put this Irish pub on the map. No matter how you slice it, the open-air setting is a safe sunny-day bet for outdoorsy diners who enjoys easy eats paired with lively surrounds and liquid vistas.

Ocean Blue Prime

Rye

Occupying the former La Panetière space, Ocean Blue Prime is adding “rooftop dining” to its repertoire. Now offering elevated eats, literally, diners can feel sublime breezes off Long Island Sound while swan diving into dishes like fluke crudo, Prime, dry-aged steaks, and lobster spaghetti. Save room for one of the award-winning wines in stock.

Argana Restaurant

Port Chester

Westchester’s only Sultan tent — with retractable sides that offer a warm swaddle on cooler nights — may have put this exquisite Moroccan establishment on the map, but the simmering aromatics of signature tagines and kebabs bouncing upon the breeze prove just as alluring. For a fully open-air experience, an intimate stone patio and grassy garden (complete with a toasty firepit and hookah space) shine equally bright.

Argana Restaurant al fresco
Outdoor dining at Argana. Photo courtesy of Argana Restaurant

Rivertowns

3 Westerly

Ossining

The Hudson River can’t get much closer here, considering you’re free to rise from your seat in the sophisticated, sheltered patio and stroll acrosss the lawn right to it. Back at the table, your dining mates will be dipping into elevated, highly shareable plates of grilled shishito peppers and sushi that tease the palate and pave the way for entrées of branzino, filet mignon, and risotto; all of which complement — even compete — with unbeatable, almost touchable, watery vistas.

3 Westerly
Outdoor dining at 3 Westerly. Courtesy of 3 Westerly

Half Moon

Dobbs Ferry

When trolling for a hip locale with in-the-know clientele, this chic gathering spot meets all your needs. With tables so close to the water you’d think you’re dining with whitecaps and a view of New York City, this modish restaurant serves top-tier pizza and features a lounge and 15-seat bar that fills up. Swing by for happy hour — Mondays through Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. — with a youthful (and thirsty) multitude enjoying $2 oysters, $7 craft beers, and $10 cocktails.

Half Moon
Outdoor dining at Half Moon. Courtesy of Half Moon

Bridge View Tavern

Sleepy Hollow

Bridge View Tavern does some heavy lifting for the culinary scene: a classic pub offering a multitude of beers on tap and everyone’s favorite bar grub while dotting the menu with upscale and out-of-the-box dishes (do not gloss over the elk burger). Head out to the beer garden for an Oktoberfest feel with just as much endless beer.

Harvest on Hudson

Hastings-on-Hudson

In a carved out miniature forest, caressed by cool Hudson River breezes and the intoxicating fragrance of seasonal blooms, open-air dining (or, simply, effortless nibbling) occurs on an unparalleled scale. Rabbit scarpariello is a staple of the Italian-dominant menu that’s speckled with satisfying pastas and brick-oven pizzas, cheese plates, and a raw bar, all perfectly paired with a wide-array of wines and an inspired line-up of craft cocktails. (Secure a spot in the spectacular, new greenhouse and let us know how it is!)

Hudson Social

Dobbs Ferry

The cool waters of the Hudson River in view won’t illicit shivers reminiscent of the off-season when you’re lounging by the firepit on the cozy patio of this American bistro that’s artfully ensconced within the historic Dobbs Ferry Metro-North train station. Craft cocktails, shareable apps, salads, sandwiches, and mains of roasted spaghetti squash and slow-roasted brisket delight and warm from the inside out.

Goosefeather

Tarrytown

It may seem like nothing could be finer than the lush green lawns of the Tarrytown House Estate’s King Mansion — with bedazzling string lights and louge seating in front and a patio, garden tables, and glowing firepits out back — but the fairytaleesque setting is decidedly second to chef Dale Talde’s fancified spin on classic Cantonese fare. Must-eats from this highly creative, fun-loving James Beard-nominated chef are dry-aged beef potstickers, fall-off-the-bone Kung Pao chicken wings, and every noodle and fried-rice incarnation under the stars.

alfresco dining
Photo by Young Skeletons

Sambal Thai & Malay

Irvington

Reminiscent of dining on the bow of a ship, the second-story deck of this brick-faced bastion of innovative Thai and Malay cooking attracts river gazers and scene seekers like sirens to sailors (but with a better ending). Here, all the exotic and alluring favorites are covered, from myriad curries and noodle dishes (try the one called Drunkman) to such house specialties as the roasted Penang duck, Thai coconut mussels, and jackfruit-and-potato curry.

Sambal Thai & Malay
Outdoor dining at Sambal Thai & Malay. Courtesy of Sambal Thai & Malay

Hudson Farmer & Fish

Sleepy Hollow

The blue-stone patio nuzzles right up onto the illustrious Riverwalk with gorgeous views from every point on the compass. A showcase of the restaurant’s northern farm is the use of fresh seafood and produce that crosshatch a New England feel with a Westchester locale. The charred chili prawns, whole-roasted branzino, and crab “BLT” are some can’t-miss options when dining on some of the most innovative menu items this side of the Hudson.

Harper’s

Dobbs Ferry

The hidden patio behind Harper’s is one of the county’s not-so-secret secret spaces where locals pack the house most nights for dinner in the shadow of one of the original Croton Aqueduct walls, surrounded by potted herbs, flowers, and climbing ivy. The casual comfort of a local bistro is charming, but if you’d like to bubble and sip on the extensive bar programs, do yourself a favor and make a reservation.

Birdsall House

Peekskill

Rustic, welcoming, and warmed by firepit, locals and regulars concur: A cold one or a warming whiskey go down easy on the patio of this neighborly gastropub known for its beer list and eclectic, regionally sourced fare. No doubt they’d recommend the simple pleasure of a burger that packs a powerful punch with house-blended seasoned brisket on a puffy brioche bun, or the more outside-the-box serving of succulent grilled lamb sliders with tzatziki and tomato jam.

RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen

Tarrytown

A hot scene and mentally cooling Hudson River views illuminate the sweeping patio at this Tarrytown mainstay where Best of Westchester-winning handcrafted cocktails tango with artisanal wood-fired pizzas and the standout, locally sourced cheese plate that blooms via Hudson Valley farms. Pasture-raised lamb meatballs are another no-brainer pick and so easy to pop while gazing at the boats that go sailing by.

Red Hat on the River

Irvington

As the sun dips into the River, savvy diners in-the-know snag a prime spot on the patio aside this 1910 red-brick restored-factory hotspot and dig into elegantly prepared modern American entrées (consider the seared scallops with fava beans) or French-inspired bistro staples of moules frites, steak frites (hangar or 16 oz bone-in dry-aged NY strip), or a signature burger. (Just in case, there’s a view from almost every seat in the house too.)

Red Hat on the River
Outdoor dining at Red Hat on the River. Courtesy of Red Hat on the River

River Outpost Brewing

Peekskill

Brews and views are on the agenda at this Hudson hotspot. From pilsners to IPAs, all craft bevvies are brewed on location and feature seasonal specials. For nibbles, barbecue platters and appetizers like popcorn shrimp and Irish nachos provide a good coat for the stomach (a good drinker is a good eater, as the saying goes). Sip as the sun goes down, and don’t be surprised when that pint glass becomes a six-pack.

The Sailhouse at Washington Irving Boat Club

Tarrytown

Dine at a piece of Tarrytown maritime history. Started by village residents who wanted to boat for sport in the Hudson, the boat club has transformed into the ideal gathering place for alfresco evenings on the waterfront. Recently under new ownership, enjoy the likes of steak frites, Buffalo calamari, and the mouthwatering crab cake po’boy, with front-row seats to a stunning summer sunset.

Apropos Restaurant & Bar

Peekskill

Perch under the pergola for stunning views of the Hudson in the garden courtyard of this renovated abbey along the river. Dining from a menu that’s thoughtfully curated with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors (Barolo-braised short rib or local burrata, anyone?), Apropos offers up an idyllic Hudson Valley day for the books.

Apropos Restaurant
Outdoor dining is luxurious at Apropos. Courtesy of Apropos Restaurant

South of 287

Scalini Osteria

Bronxville

Secreted away from the village’s log-jammed main thoroughfare and reminiscent of a quaint Tuscan enclave, this county staple boasts not only a patio, but also a secluded storybook courtyard where just a handful of petite tables are tucked amid climbing ivy, flowering plants, and the melodic chirping of birds. Regionally inspired, fine Italian cuisine is highlighted by house-made pastas, local produce and imported specialty ingredients, and a hard-to-miss hint of romance in the air.

Via Forno

Scarsdale

At this modern interpretation of a traditional wood-fired pizza joint and wine bar, Sunday brunch comes with a side of live jazz on the patio, which also happens to be a perfect spot on all other days (or nights) of the week for crisp, crusty pizza, an array of tummy-tempting pastas, blossoming pressed paninis, and people watching along always bustling Garth Road. Don’t be ashamed to do so while hoisting a lightly blackened slice in one hand with a coup glass in the other.

pizza alfresco
Outdoor dining at Via Forno. Courtesy of Via Forno

La Lanterna

Yonkers

Ever see a canopy of bistro lights from the Saw Mill and wondered, What’s over there? The answer is La Lanterna. But don’t let the parkway-adjacent location deter you: The wine garden is quite charming, with tall, light-filled trees and cozy iron tables. If you’re dining outside on a temperate summer night, you’ll be treated to the stunning fireplace, amping up to a cozy factor that’s almost as good as a hug from Nonna.

outdoor dining
Outdoor dining at La Lanterna. Courtesy of La Lanterna

Donjito

Mamaroneck

Encircled by vibrant greens and blooming plants, the outdoor option at Donjito feels like you should be sipping on afternoon tea and not a watermelon full of tequila (which we highly recommend, btw). This Latin-fusion favorite not only dishes out mouthwatering meals, like the lomo saltado and roasted pernil (and Latin sushi, if you’re feeling adventurous), but the tropically themed and well-dressed cocktails level up the experience.

Gigante

Eastchester

For an alfresco meal like no other in Westchester (really, no other), grab a table on the pool deck at Lake Isle Country Club, then sit back and watch how glowing firepits kill any chill while ushering in a chic vibe with every ripple on the water. The menu is varied and made for sampling with small plates of grilled octopus and short-rib arancini, but for heartier appetites, there’s the whopping Wagyu burger and a lineup of Prime steaks and chops.

L’inizio

Ardsley

From the street, the red-brick façade denotes a hip, urban den (which, no doubt, it is), but ‘round back, tall trees and lush greenery envelope an intimate patio illuminated by string lights, tiki torches, and the heady aroma of house-made pastas, inventive yet unfussy Italian entrées (don’t miss the butternut squash cutlet parmigiana), and fresh-baked, knock-your-socks-off bomboloni.

TaqueRio Taco Bar

Yonkers

Mainly an outdoor venue, as most of the eatery’s seating populates an expansive patio that sprawls smack-dab at River’s edge, this is one of lower Westchester’s prime spots for lounging about and chowing down en plein air along the Hudson. The vibe is cool and laidback with a menu to match, dominated by tacos (order the slow-cooked birria and poached shrimp), salads, and transcendent sights and sounds.

North of 287

Amore Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen

Armonk

This Tuscan-farmhouse-style eatery has been a fixture in the well-heeled hamlet for four decades, and its expansive terrazzo is a sizzling outdoor draw for old-school bowls of pasta, crisp artisan pizzas (the sauce, fresh mozz, and dough are all scratch-made), and Italian classics of tangy chicken scarp and zuppa de pesce. It’s a memorable meal indoors, too, but somehow it tastes even better under the grapevine-strewn pergola amid thriving tomato plants, leafy greenery, and a rushing stream.

alfresco patio
Photo by Stephen Jmihalchik

La Vista

South Salem

Homey vegetable gardens and lush landscaping separate the 50-person patio from the road at La Vista. Outside seating comes with the same old-world pomp as inside, including tableside presentations, a roving dessert cart, and generous pours of homemade grappa. Below the swaying Edison bulbs, dine on favorites like veal scaloppini and grilled octopus — and peep the produce on your plate, as you may just be dining adjacent to where it was picked mere hours earlier.

Le Fontane Ristorante

Katonah

Behind the indoor dining space, a peaceful patio awaits, facing a petite interior garden dotted with flowering trees and a gurgling fountain that’s made for leisure and lingering, perhaps over a splash of red and a plate of luscious burrata. Expect that plus all the Italian comfort classics under the sun, along with elevated specials and the warm graciousness that permeates the air of a family owned and operated neighborhood fave.

Nadine’s

Yorktown Heights

There are some who believe there’s no garden like a beer garden, and in this case, they’re entirely correct. Traditional German specialties, cooked with family pride and kissed with a hint of French flair, are complemented by beer, wine, cocktails, and Austrian schnapps and liqueurs, to be savored on traditional picnic-style set-ups and regular tables and chairs.

North Star

Pound Ridge

The wraparound porch is a head turner that draws diners in from the road, but the inventive, New American dishes of duck confit dumplings, truffle mac ’n’ cheese, and cauliflower steak with edamame purée turn them into regulars on the spot. Burgers and steaks, craft cocktails, and beer and wine round out the experience and make for an all-around good time.

Prime Pub

Somers

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle and settled into the serenity of the neighboring lake, this gastropub has the perfect nibbles for an afternoon in the open air. Philly cheesesteak spring rolls and Buffalo cauliflower are at your disposal — unless you’re opting for something a little lighter, that is, like the tuna crudo or a dozen fresh Blue Point oysters. Whatever your stomach is telling you, the result is set to be satisfying.

Casa Tequila Cocina & Bar

Armonk

A festive, friendly patio decked out with faux-ivy walls and hand-painted murals celebrating Mexican culture feels just right for a sky-dive into traditional Latin/Mexican fare that tempts, satisfies, and sways decidedly gourmet. Authentic street tacos and rice bowls share menu space with entrées of steak and shrimp ranchero, all complemented by more than 100 tequilas and mezcals behind the bar.

Ristorante Lucia

Bedford

Enjoy genuine Italian fare on Ristorante Lucia’s outdoor patio, bursting with lush greenery on all fronts. The sweeping canopy of vines and twinkling lights feels right out of the Amalfi Coast, while the ample menu of pasta, fish, meat, and vegetable dishes require little to no convincing that you’ve left the country. With a spritz in your hand, we dare you to spot the difference.

Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish

North Salem

For a taste of what is arguably Westchester’s most unique alfresco dining setting, snag a coveted seat (there are only about two dozen) at one of the quaint, rustic picnic tables perched atop the front porch of this 1776 farmhouse, which boasts a rustically refined foodie vibe and four acres of terraced farmland under cultivation. No matter the season, hyper-fresh produce appears on every plate (thanks to a stocked root cellar), with mains of beef, poultry, and fish sourced from ethically minded family farms and co-ops.

Le Jardin Du Roi

Chappaqua

It may not be the south of France, but a broad patio adorned with cascading vines, perennial gardens, and the shade of a grand, old maple tree is a pretty sweet spot to revel in some classic je ne sais quoi in the heart of one of the county’s most picturesque hamlets. Don’t be alarmed if a whiff of the American South is in the air — among the quiches, Nicoise and ratatouille salads, mussels, and sautéed sole is some smokin’-hot barbecue; namely, the St. Louis ribs.

Le Jardin Du Roi alfresco
Outdoor dining at Le Jardin Du Roi. Courtesy Le Jardin Du Roi

Cabbonet Brings Kitchen & Design Trends to Mamaroneck

Photos by George Sharman

The British kitchen-and-design brand makes its way across the pond to Mamaroneck to elevate Westchester interiors.

British kitchen-and-design brand Cabbonet has opened a gallery in Mamaroneck. Founded in early 2019 by designer Andrew Hays under the umbrella of acclaimed London design house ARTEIM, Cabbonet features bespoke finishes that celebrate the art of tactility, new and old materials, and experiments with traditional finishes in contemporary contexts. The company offers doors and sliding panels made from woven metal, sculpted wood surfaces, bespoke hardware, elegant vitrines, and unique products, including glass spice drawers, sinks, and cabinet doors made from exotic stone, to name a few.

Cabbonet

“I personally love our Sliding Woven Metal Cabinet, which draws inspiration from the traditional meat safe and adds an element of glamour to any interior,” says Hays. “I’m also fond of our Oilcloth Island, which combines a layer of metal with a layer of vividly veined natural stone to create an effortlessly modern centerpiece to a kitchen or dining space.”

“Working with an interior designer or architect or directly with the homeowner, our teams work collaboratively to create the perfect interior.”
—Andrew Hays

At the heart of the showroom located in the Northeast Architectural space on East Boston Post Road is a carefully curated vignette showcasing the brand’s eclectic style and selections of materials and finishes, which are plentiful.

kitchen showroom

Whether you are working with a designer or architect upon entering Cabbonet, or you need design help, there is something for everyone. “Design professionals are attracted to the brand’s materiality and unique details, which give them the opportunity to create something beautiful and inspiring that responds to their vision for their client,” says Hays. “Working with an interior designer or architect or directly with the homeowner, our teams work collaboratively to create the perfect interior.”

Hays says Cabbonet has clients of all backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles. “The unifying factor are those who appreciate beautifully crafted and highly practical kitchens and above all are design-savvy,” he says.

Cabbonet showroom
The eclectic style and materials that Cabbonet is known for are on full display in its new Mamaroneck showroom.

In addition to the Mamaroneck showroom, Cabbonet has also opened in Denver and will be opening another location in Los Angeles. “[We] embrace eclecticism and draw inspiration from a mix of design periods referencing both the past and a modern global lifestyle,” adds Hays. “Because the focus is on materials, the ways in which the elements can be combined are limitless, and therefore no two jobs are ever the same.”

Related: This Ardsley Kitchen Makes a Black & White Palette Glamorous

6 Outdoor Happy Hours for Cocktails in Westchester

Adobe Stock/ funkyfrogstock

From Katonah to White Plains, look no further for the booziest beer gardens and outdoor happy hours to while away your early evenings.

By Hannah Teligades and Dave Zucker

You know the old saying: “It’s not summer until someone takes a lawn dart to the face.” Or something like that; we’re sure you have your own variation. The point is after all the groundhog shenanigans, the one true way to know the warm weather has arrived is to get out of work, throw your jacket aside, and knock back some refreshing adult beverages with your friends and coworkers in the crisp, cool air.

Yes, we’re talking outdoor happy hours. Westchester is filled with venues sporting decks, awnings, patios, and rooftop lounges. We thought we’d help give you a head start with a breakdown of some of our favorite al fresco imbibing locales.

bartaco

1 Willett Ave, Port Chester; 914.937.8226

When it comes to waterfront views, bartaco is hard to beat. And while it doesn’t offer “traditional” happy hour specials, it certainly has something special hidden up its sleeve. Fans of West Coast staple In-N-Out’s ‘secret menu’ options will be delighted to find a slice of that exclusivity here in Westchester with bartaco’s secret taco. We’ll let that sink in. Secret. Taco. The current #bartacosecret is full of warm and robust spice, Mexican-style chorizo seared on the plancha until charred and crispy. Then, it’s topped with a bright and creamy avocado salsa for a balanced and delicious bite.

 

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Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

369 Lexington Ave, Mt Kisco; 845.261.3279

Stop by for special brewery hours running from Wednesday to Friday starting at 2 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 12 p.m. Also, happy hour begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights after trivia. Pair your $8 drafts, $28 pitchers, and $12 flights with a bite from the delicious shared menu.

Freebird Kitchen & Bar

161 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; 914.607.2476

“The only rooftop beer garden in White Plains” doesn’t disappoint. Look forward to views of the cityscape and clear blue skies this time of year, and an outdoor happy hour bar menu from Wednesdays to Sundays to enjoy delicious drinks starting as low as $3.

Hudson Social

11 Station Plaza, Dobbs Ferry; 914.478.3634

Soak in the Dobbs Ferry waterfront alongside a meal made with local ingredients and a cocktail at happy hour prices. From Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., draft beers are $6, glasses of wine are $9, and house cocktails and martinis are $9. If you’re looking for a $9 bite, you can choose from chicken wings, pretzel bites, cheese quesadilla, or chips and guacamole.

 

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Le Fontane

137 Somerstwon Tpke, Katonah; 914.232.9619

If you’re trying to up your happy hour game, try Le Fontane. Fit with a garden and a bubbling fountain, this patio is the perfect summer setting for $5 apps and drinks. Try the bruschetta to start, and pick from the appetizer specials next, which include a lobster and avocado roll and baked clams. For sipping, pick between $5 and $8 wines, and enjoy $3 off any cocktail.

Southern Table Kitchen and Bar

39 Marble Ave, Pleasantville; 914.618.3355

Taco Tuesdays are basically all-day happy hours, right? With $24 unlimited tacos, we had to include Southern Table’s Tuesday specials. While you fill up on tacos, you can sip on $14 margaritas or $14 wines.

 

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Read More: Brasserie Le Steak Infuses French Flair Into Larchmont

These Wunderkinds Lead Westchester’s Business Scene in 2023

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Photography by Stefan Radtke

Forging careers in industries that range from government to agriculture, these 24 rising stars under the age of 35 are changing the business and cultural landscapes of Westchester County.

By Paul Adler, Nick Brandi, Cristiana Caruso, Joe Cesarano, and Michelle Gillan Larkin

Location: 3THIRTY3 Luxury Apartment Homes by Cappelli Development, 333 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY
Hair & Makeup: Marissa Schmahl, Ashley Lauren Salon

Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd, 26

Lower Hudson Valley Regional Representative

Office of NYS Governor Kathy Hochul

It was a series of national tragedies that spurred Brandon Lloyd on to a life of public service. “I remember sitting in my dorm, watching the verdict in the Michael Brown case,” recalls Lloyd. “That verdict coupled with the tragic death of Trayvon Martin three years prior served as a catalyst for me to become involved in politics. I resented the fact that I felt powerless and had no ability to effect change, and I believed entering politics would give me the agency to do so.”

As Lower Hudson Valley regional representative for the Office of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, Lloyd is already making this dream a reality, maintaining relationships and communication with elected officials throughout Westchester and serving as Hochul’s representative at public events, city council meetings, village and town boards, and the County Board of Legislators. Lloyd also reports back to the governor on local developments as well as those in the state capitol. “It’s very rewarding to hold this rank,” says Lloyd, “as it allows me to represent underserved and marginalized communities throughout the region while elevating and uplifting their voices so that they are recognized by the state.”—PA

Madeline Clappin

Madeline Clappin, 29

Strategic Director & Cofounder

Arketekcher

It’s thanks to people like Madeline Clappin that our county’s future looks so bright. Clappin cofounded her own architectural firm in the middle of a pandemic — a feat that would be impressive for a 29-year-old at any time in history. Her firm, Arketekcher, has been a resounding success since its 2021 genesis, serving more than 50 projects across Westchester and New York City, growing to four employees and earning a 2022 Best of Westchester win.

In addition to her work with Arketekcher, Clappin is also the co-chair of the Urban Land Institute, serves as a member of the AIA Unified Task Force, and helped found the Waterfront Task Force. “To me, finding a way to land a project is a puzzle to be solved. We are never discouraged by failure and parlay our relationships into new opportunities,” says Clappin. “By investing a lot of time and energy into our pursuit of work, we’ve been able to open a lot of doors that are often closed to firms of our size.”—PA

rachel greenspan

Rachel Greenspan, 31

Senior Director

GHP Office Realty LLC

Rachel Greenspan knows how to close a deal. Focusing on the sales, acquisitions, and financing of GHP Office Realty’s owned and managed commercial and industrial properties, Greenspan has had to fill a multitude of responsibilities. Since taking on her role, in 2019, she and her team have administered over $208 million in acquisition, refinance, and modification loans, including lines of credit. On top of leasing vacant space in order to sell three properties and facilitating those transactions, totaling 216,830 square feet, Greenspan also contributed to the acquisition of two new properties, one in Westchester County and the other in Charleston County, SC, expanding the company’s footprint in the process.

But brokering leases isn’t the only ship that Greenspan helms. Overseeing all of the suburban Tristate area, she works closely with property management on GHP’s major capital improvement projects. Greenspan prides herself on her drive and close attention to detail, bringing both to the table whether she’s dealing with a small, local company or a national brand. The 31-year-old doesn’t see herself slowing down anytime soon: In addition to working as a registered New York State licensed real estate agent, she is in the process of completing her real estate broker’s license in South Carolina.—CC

Austin Schatz

Austin Schatz, 31

Cofounder & CEO

Westchester Mushroom Company

Austin Schatz wants mushrooms to be your new favorite food. Founded in 2021 with cohorts and fellow farmers Jonathan Vantman and Benny Liu, Schatz turned his interest of creating tangible sustainability into a full-scale operation, creating Westchester County’s first-ever indoor mushroom farm. Always conscious of the importance of an accessible agricultural presence within a community, Schatz can be found anywhere from farming the mushrooms to managing the company’s social media to brokering deals with local restaurants. Schatz is also big on quality control, making sure his products are harvested mere hours, not days, before they are ready for your table.

Found in all ten DeCicco & Sons locations, available as a subscription service, and on the menu at nearly a dozen Westchester restaurants, Schatz’s shrooms have transcended being just an ingredient: They are a love letter to the local and farming community. “Westchester Mushroom Company has allowed me to bring my passion for growing food to my broader community; there is no higher reward,” says Schatz. “We’re proud to join a growing movement of young farmers and producers who are bringing agriculture back to a county that was once an agricultural hub.” —CC

Katherine Wonder Wunderkinds 2023

Katherine Wonder, 30

President

Sunset Bridge Consulting

Katherine Wonder is a social media maven. Having launched her consulting business in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Wonder helps her small-business clients focus on social media growth, targeted content creation, and specially designed marketing campaigns. From real estate teams to contractors to hair salons, she works with companies across multiple disciplines. Wonder takes every client assignment personally and gives each her undivided attention. In 2023, she was honored as one of Alignable’s Local Business Persons of the Year. But Wonder also wants to share her marketing and social media savvy with the masses. Navigate to her company’s Instagram, and you’ll find dozens of handy videos — all created by Wonder — on how to help yourself or your small business. On top of all her duties as president of Sunset Bridge Consulting, Wonder is also a published children’s-book author. —CC

Ashley Scott

Ashley Scott, 28

Digital Product Senior Analyst

PepsiCo

As a member of the Strategy and Transformation team, Ashley Scott manages the product-development process for PepsiCo’s data marketplace platform, which includes the design, build, and implementation of the enterprise-wide, platform-based data solution. She ensures that product delivery is aligned with stakeholder goals to provide a global data-standardization platform. “One of the things I enjoy most about working at PepsiCo is that they provide a space for me to thrive professionally,” says Scott. “As a result of their investments in digital transformation, I have been able to expand my skillset and explore opportunities to succeed.”

Passionate about “encouraging and championing diversity in the pipeline,” Scott founded her own consultancy, Data Girl Ash, in her spare time. The entrepreneurial sideline offers educational resources, career coaching, and mentorship to college students, postgraduates, and working professionals who aspire to pivot to the tech-and-data arena without a technical background. In this role, she demonstrates tactical approaches to making data-driven decisions while empowering others to succeed, underlining her unwavering commitment to use her success to help those who share her passions for data and technology.—MGL

Neel Anand Wunderkinds 2023

Neel Anand, 28

Owner

Westchester Technology Group

While some young entrepreneurs take many years to build a successful company, success has come more quickly, and naturally, for Neel Anand, the 28-year-old owner of Westchester Technology Group. In just over five years, Anand has grown his business from a single-proprietor consultancy to one of the top IT companies in the county. The young business owner garnered the attention of an outside investor after securing an impressive array of clients, including auto dealerships, construction firms, small businesses, and even a national pharmaceutical company. And he is setting his goals even higher. “Truthfully, even with the accomplishments we have made, I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface yet,” Anand says. “My goal was to create a seven-figure company. Now that we’ve reached that, I’m pushing hard to create an eight-figure company before I turn 30.” And with impressive testimonials from satisfied clients who hail his drive, coupled with a charismatic, “can-do” personality, one would be wise not to bet against him.—JC

Chelsea Pagano

Chelsea Pagano, 28

Communications & Marketing Manager

Westchester County Government

Barely 28 years old, Chelsea Pagano has plenty on her plate. As communications and marketing manager for Westchester County government, she is a key liaison for functions such as IT services, website maintenance and design, and translation. She is also responsible for producing brochures and flyers, advertisements and eblasts, scheduling, proclamations and certificates, journal ads, and even graphic design (which she quickly learned and mastered), as needed. But it’s possible that Pagano never shines brighter than when she is managing the county executive’s social media presence. With her keen eye and culture savvy, Pagano grew the county’s audience on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by double digits while increasing the county’s LinkedIn audience by triple digits. She has also worked to utilize video more effectively on all platforms.

“Chelsea is one of the most diligent, creative, and dedicated people I have ever worked with,” says Catherine Cioffi, director of communications for Westchester County. “Chelsea comes to work every day with positivity and innovation, and seeing her grow in her career has been a joy. We are very lucky to have her!” —NB

Shannon Sullivan

Shannon Sullivan, 30

Director of Camp & Teen Services

YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester

Shannon Sullivan is a dedicated, lifelong Girl Scout and cheer coach who embodies the YMCA values and mission in everything she does. Responsible for overseeing all the camping and teen programs offered by the YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester, she supervises more than 100 program staff and volunteers for the roughly 800 young campers who show up each year to spend their summer with the YMCA. But that’s not all.

This double master’s degree holder also runs the YMCA’s acclaimed teen programs, including the Teen Leaders Program, which promotes the Y’s values in the development of teenagers throughout the community. She also oversees the Youth and Government Program, which teaches teens the importance of being involved in local and state government while providing hands-on experience. During her tenure with the teen programs, Sullivan doubled participation, created two new programs, and secured funding to keep these programs free for community teens. It’s no wonder, then, that under her direction, YMCA Camp Combe received the “Most Loved Summer Camp” distinction from Hulafrog in 2022. —NB

Nicholas Lombardi Wunderkinds 2023

Nicholas Lombardi, 27

Senior Community Engagement & Communications Manager

The Arc Westchester

As the brother of a young adult with autism, Nicholas Lombardi brings a unique, firsthand perspective to his role at The Arc Westchester. The Hawthorne-based organization supports children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their families, by offering programs and services that foster independence, productivity, and participation in community life. From an early age, Lombardi learned to embrace people of differing abilities and celebrate their contributions to the community. “As a society, we can always do better when it comes to finding meaningful ways for people with developmental disabilities to engage in their communities,” he says.

Technologically skilled and richly versed in the world of social media, Lombardi writes articles and creates content for the organization’s website and social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube in an effort to increase the organization’s online visibility and community engagement. —MGL

Alyson Kuritzky

Alyson Kuritzky, 33

Associate in Family & Matrimonial Law

Abrams Fensterman LLP

Considered both collegial and collaborative, Alyson Kuritzky has already proved herself to be more than just another attorney. As an associate in the White Plains Family & Matrimonial Law Department at Abrams Fensterman, LLP, Kuritzky handles family law and divorce matters for high net worth clients and helps supervise and run the firm’s White Plains Matrimonial Department. She is involved in more than 50% of the department’s cases and is a second chair at trials to Jill Spielberg, one of the region’s premier matrimonial attorneys. But Kuritzky’s impact is felt beyond the courtroom; she has also helped grow and shape the culture of the White Plains Matrimonial Department and is regarded as a “go-to” person in that department.

Colleagues also aver that Kuritzky’s work ethic is unmatched, demonstrating a tenacious yet consistent support of her coworkers. She is also known for her unparalleled dedication to her clients — a dedication that often sees her working around the clock to ensure their needs are met. In key ways, she is already a leader and represents the future of the Westchester legal community. –NB

Jonah Bassuk

Jonah Bassuk, 16

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Strong Heroes, Inc.

If anyone truly personifies a natural-born leader, it’s Rye Brook’s Jonah Bassuk. This is clearly demonstrated by his role as founder and CEO of Strong Heroes, Inc., a Westchester-based organization dedicated to eradicating health inequities and maximizing health outcomes across all populations, particularly among children and historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. But what’s truly mind-boggling is that Bassuk manages his considerable corporate responsibilities while attending classes as an 11th grader at Blind Brook High School. Here’s just a snapshot of what this trailblazing teenager has accomplished so far:

Through Strong Heroes, Inc., over 8,000 toys, books, and resources have been donated to children’s hospitals. The organization has also secured volunteer service in excess of 600 hours and monetary donations from more than 500 individuals. A zealous advocate for community engagement, public policy, and more equitable health outcomes for all stakeholders, Bassuk and Strong Heroes also partnered with New York Medical College to provide IT equipment that helped engender a collaborative health-equity program. His social enterprise has even provided numerous scholarships to students from underrepresented populations, enabling real-world, hands-on experience in the healthcare and medical professions.

“Education, access, and policy have an enormous impact on the lives of individuals and families,” says Bassuk. “When we positively influence social determinants, we can achieve extraordinary outcomes.” —NB

Yecenia Tovar Wunderkinds 2023

Yecenia Tovar, 33

Assistant Court Clerk

Village of Bronxville

Yecenia Tovar has spent her entire career working in the court system. Currently, she assists two judges with courtroom duties in the Bronxville criminal, traffic and vehicle, parking, civil, and landlord-tenant sections. While devoting her career to the legal field, Tovar has continued to work very closely with her community. She started an organization called LatinXvote, which during the pandemic registered more than 100 people to vote and get counted by the U.S. Census. She has also worked alongside Westchester County legislators to secure funding for a self-defense program at the YWCA in Yonkers for local women. For her dedicated work to the people around her, Tovar has received proclamations from Yonkers mayor Mike Spano, County Legislator Christopher Johnson, and Congressman Jamaal Bowman. She was also recently appointed chairwoman of the Yonkers Youth Bureau Board and serves as a member of the Yonkers Planning Board.

As a first-generation Mexican American woman, Tovar has worked hard to represent people who share a similar background and lead by example while inspiring the next generation. Her love for her Yonkers community is unmeasurable, as she devotes substantial time and effort every day to make Westchester’s largest city a better place. —CC

Alessandra Cortina

Alessandra Cortina, 34

Founder & Owner

The Cortina Law Group and the ALC Consulting Group, LLC

Alessandra Cortina is here to create a legacy. Beginning her career in human resources as a generalist for a Fortune 100 financial institution, Cortina was hungry for more. Pivoting her entire life, she enrolled in New York Law School in TriBeCa to chase her dream of being an attorney. After law school, she continued to work in the corporate world, but she knew her mission wasn’t over; she wanted to open her own company and law firm. With the birth of ALC Consulting Group, LLC, and The Cortina Law Group, Cortina is helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and high-performing professionals realize their dreams — doing her share of inspiring along the way.

“Being a lawyer and mentor for women in business is important to me because I get to help women build generational wealth and protect their legacies. We aren’t taught how to do this; it’s something we learn through experience, success, hardships, and trials,” Cortina says. “My passion is to support women as they build their businesses and empower them through providing knowledge, education, and the tools they need for success. My desire is to see women become confident and protected business owners.” —CC

James Nolan Wunderkinds 2023

James Nolan, 33

County Legislator, District 15

Westchester County Board of Legislators

James Nolan is only the fifth person under the age of 35 to ever be elected as a county legislator. Representing District 15 in Yonkers and Bronxville, Nolan is the minority whip of Westchester County and serves as chairperson for the Westchester County Appointments Committee. But public service and politics weren’t Nolan’s first callings in life. He started his career by founding The Michael Nolan Foundation in memory of his brother, who was slain in a 2015 shooting. The group gives athletic scholarships to one student-athlete from each Yonkers public school. Nolan currently serves as the only Republican on the Board of Legislators, securing funds for public safety, community-based groups, and infrastructure projects.

Nolan doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks his own walk, knowing well the community he represents. In addition to his political position, he holds a union job as a sanitation worker in Yonkers and is one of the only elected officials in the county who is a card-carrying union member. —CC

Kahleel Neil

Kahleel Neil, 25

Director of Marketing & Sales

WOW! Building Maintenance Solutions Inc.

At just 25 years old, Kahleel Neil is already a veritable master of marketing. As director of marketing and sales for WOW! Building Maintenance Solutions Inc., Neil is constantly producing sales materials, developing marketing campaigns to increase revenue, and building relationships with industry partners and clients throughout the region. Neil is also responsible for growing the company’s customer base, analyzing market data, and managing a team of sales and marketing professionals.

Not only has Neil excelled in this role by bringing company revenue up to $1 million a year through his campaigns and strategies; he also developed and implemented a successful customer-retention program that currently stands at an incredible rate of 99%. Neil even created training programs for the company’s sales and marketing teams. “I feel like I have transitioned from being this fresh newbie to a seasoned professional with an in-depth understanding of what marketing and sales means for a brand,” shares Neil. “I see myself growing professionally to become one of the best-known marketers in the USA.” —PA

Jack Hornickel Wunderkinds 2023

Jack Hornickel, 34

Staff Attorney, Food and Farm Business Law Clinic

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Growing up in Midwestern farm communities, Jack Hornickel has been surrounded by agriculture his entire life. Upon moving to New York City for college, he stumbled on his first Greenmarket while exploring the Bronx by bicycle. The urban-rural connection that centered around fresh food not only felt reminiscent of home but also inspired and motivated him. In 2012, Hornickel enrolled in law school to support regionalized food systems and act as an advocate for small farmers. Since then, he has provided countless hours of pro bono legal services with the Food and Farm Business Law Clinic.

In addition to his legal practice and supervision of law students, Hornickel is constantly working to build improved management systems, more effective programming, and innovative policy proposals. With a deep-seated passion for making the Hudson Valley a better place, he has conducted novel research on the impact of farm-labor legislation, delivered guest lectures with several institutions, and, at the height of the pandemic, created a cost-share program for farm estate planning. Hornickel’s mission remains unchanged from the time he first stumbled upon that Bronx farmers market: to improve conditions for New York State agriculture while exercising care and humility in providing direct service. —CC

Meghan McMahon Bautista

Meghan McMahon Bautista, 31

Manager, Learning & Development

PURE Insurance

A common thread in the life of this rising star is to give back and help others in their respective career paths. Meghan McMahon Bautista gets to apply that philosophy regularly as manager of Learning & Development for PURE Insurance, a fast-growing specialty property-and-casualty insurer. Having quickly worked her way up through the HR track, Bautista oversees enterprise-wide development opportunities for the firm’s more than 1,000 employees across the U.S.

She holds a BA in biological psychology from Pace University, where she received the Biological Psychology Award at graduation. Bautista also holds an MA in industrial organizational psychology from CUNY School of Professional Studies and is an ATD-certified training facilitator and an active member of the International Society for Organization Development and Change. During her time at PURE, Bautista also completed her master’s in industrial organization psychology from CUNY.

“There is plenty of research out there that supports the connection between employee well-being and overall company growth and profitability,” says Bautista. “At the end of the day, it comes down to a simple truth: When people feel valued, understood, and truly supported by their employers, they perform at their best.” —NB

Kamran Saliani Wunderkinds 2023

Kamran Saliani, 28

Founder, Artistic Director & Actor

Irvington Shakespeare Company

Each day, Kamran Saliani works to bring culture, community, and great drama to our county. As founder, artistic director, and main resident actor of the Irvington Shakespeare Company (ISC), Saliani selects the productions that the ISC will produce. “I fundraise for the season and build relations with community members, local leadership, and our wonderful businesses and institutions within Irvington and beyond,” he says. “I am also responsible for hiring the cast and crew for our shows and being the point of contact for schools and groups who want to work with us for workshops.”

Over the past three years alone, Saliani has raised more than $100,000 to stage four productions with the ISC and has performed in more than 60 productions himself, including films, theatrical works, and staged readings. Notably, legendary British actor Sir Ian McKellen recently trusted Saliani to stage a revival of his acclaimed one-man show, Acting Shakespeare. “Shakespeare’s works reflect many of the themes and challenges present in our world today, offering catharsis and hope,” reflects Saliani. “The Irvington Shakespeare Company seeks to decolonize and perform Shakespeare’s plays in ways that everyone can understand in order to better process this critical moment in time.” —PA

Shyjab Villacis

Shyjab Villacis, 27

Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Cabanillas & Associates

According to his boss, Cabanillas & Associates CEO Christopher Cabanillas, the life story of Shyjab Villacis is “the personification of the American Dream.” Cabanillas notes that Villacis came to America at age 4 with his father, speaking no English and with “nothing more than the clothes on their backs.” Excelling in school, Villacis launched his professional career in marketing after snagging a coveted job in digital operations with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Today, Villacis is director of marketing and public relations at Cabanillas & Associates, where he has raised the law firm’s social media platforms from roughly 1,000 followers to nearly 90,000, while also serving as executive producer of Univision Radio’s El Show De Cabanillas on LaX 96.3 FM and Mega 97.9 FM. The firm specializes in immigration law and other legal services for the Hispanic community in Westchester. “The work I do is so important because it’s directly changing people’s lives for the better,” explains Villacis. “We are helping people achieve the American Dream every single day.” —PA

Kirsten James

Kirsten James, 29

Communications Manager

Iona University

At just 29 years old, Kirsten James already has a pretty impressive professional reach. As the communications manager of Iona University, James develops internal and external communications for the school, such as press releases and talking points, while producing and pitching a range of compelling news stories. James is also tasked with copy-writing duties and creates content for the university’s website and marketing materials. “Every day is different, and there’s always a new story in the pipeline, which makes my job very exciting,” says James.

Additionally, James writes all emails for Iona’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and works with local media, like News12 Westchester, to get the university’s message out. “I feel the work I do is important because it makes a difference,” says James. “Whether it’s sharing good news about Iona in a press release or sharing someone’s human interest story, I know what I write sparks something — a conversation, a phone call to loved ones — and the stories are written memories that will live on forever.” —PA

Patrick Murphy Wunderkinds 2023

Patrick Murphy, 29

Owner & President

New Logical LLC

In order to meet the needs of his clients from all angles, Patrick Murphy has to wear a lot of hats. In the eight years he’s been in business, Murphy has moved not only local but national mountains. He introduced professional livestreaming to amateur and semiprofessional sports teams and leagues, covering events as large as the United States of America Snowboarding and Freeski Association (USASA) Finals and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in soccer. Murphy has also brought many local business staples in Westchester into the 21st century, including helping the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce use modern media to help its businesses connect. He’s personally advised and glued together the IT components of the Town of Rye’s Town Council and Park Commission meeting livestreams and made them among the only in New York State to be simulcast on public television, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (the streams will soon be added to Instagram and TikTok as well). Murphy also oversees social media pages and websites for four elected officials in Westchester, the entire Nassau BOCES school system, three local sports teams, three real estate brokerages, the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, and multiple local restaurants. Murphy remains as versatile and multitalented as a Swiss Army knife in the eyes of his clients, who know he can fix many of their problems at the drop of a hat. —CC

Annie Vargas

Annie Vargas, 26

Sustainability Education Associate

Groundwork Hudson Valley

Promoting environmental sustainability from the ground up takes many different forms for 26-year-old Annie Vargas. In their role as an intergenerational educator at Yonkers-based environmental group Groundwork Hudson Valley, Vargas teaches public school students and members of the community about issues such as climate change, alternative growing systems, and food equity. They also help oversee the group’s science barge, a floating garden that yields up to 300 pounds of produce every year and provides a perfect venue for the organization’s ongoing lessons about renewable energy and hydroponic systems. Vargas is also fluent in Spanish and intermediate in American Sign Language, enhancing the accessibility of the group’s educational mission in vulnerable communities like Yonkers, where food insecurity, urban heat islands, and air pollution pose quality-of-life challenges. In addition to their full-time job, Vargas is furthering their own environmental education by pursuing a master’s degree in ethnobotany — because their commitment to this important cause doesn’t end just because the workday has. —JC

Frank Tobitsch

Frank Tobitsch, 29

Design Director

American Christmas

If you’ve ever been besotted by Christmas in Manhattan or felt the holiday spirit magically infuse you during a stroll down your own Main Street, there’s agood chance you have Frank Tobitsch to thank. An architect of seasonal joy, Tobitsch is responsible for developing creative programs and design concepts for the Mount Vernon-based American Christmas that not only serve the business objectives but ensure that the products maintain the company’s standards of creative excellence, timeliness, and profitability.

But ushering in the most wonderful time of the year is no easy task. Tobitsch’s position requires an excellent creative aesthetic and digital design knowledge, which are just some of the feathers in his cap. He is a visionary in terms of design and constantly pushes the envelope with new and thought-provoking designs. But for all of his talents, Tobitsch remains very mindful of the colleagues who support his efforts, not only by serving as a mentor to his team members but also making everyone around him want to be a better leader. —CC

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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